Archive for September, 2013

Looking for backlinks? Look elsewhere

Deluged with SEO marketers trying to get me to put links to their e-commerce sites on this blog. None of them are offering much individually, but added together it would be a fair-ish sum were I to say ‘yes’ to them all.

A quick and pithy message to them all: Fuck Off.

Apols if you’re sick of this topic (I’ve written about it before). I’m coming back to it because it’s a daily reminder, for me (yes, I’m getting these offers almost daily), of just how bonkers and corrupted the web has become.

The demands of SEO make every link suspect. Really doesn’t matter what you’re reading online, or where. Somebody, somewhere has probably paid for at least some – maybe all – of the links on the page. That’s rarely flagged, if ever.

To my ageing and increasingly irrelevant eye, this is dangerous. We used to educate kids to spot the difference between advertising and ‘real’ programmes on the TV and in other media (or at least, they tried to teach my generation. How about yours?). Nobody’s teaching anybody how to spot affiliate marketing and paid-for backlinks masquerading as ‘real’ content and ‘real’ click recommendations. Most parents haven’t got a sodding clue, so they could never teach their kids.

Does this matter? Do you care? Does anybody care?

Posted on 18th September 2013
Under: Rants, Uncategorized, Web nerdery | 6 Comments »

Karma and Apple find a way

Strange phone call today.

Caller: “Hello, is that [Soilman’s Christian name]?”

Me: “Yes”

Caller: “Hi. Just calling about a lost iPod. Did you do the Stonehenge to Avebury Charity Trek on Friday?”

Me: “Er, no.”

Caller: “Oh. That’s odd. Because we have this lost iPod. But it looks like I have the wrong number. Sorry to bother you.”

Me (alarmed/baffled): “Hang on, don’t go. You’ve rung my number and you have my correct name. So it looks like you’ve got the right number. What’s going on?”

Caller: “Well, er… ok. We found this iPod after the event on Saturday. And it’s got this name [reads out Soilman’s full name] and this mobile phone number engraved on it. But obviously you weren’t at the event, so it must belong to somebody else.”

Me (realisation dawning): “Is it a white iPod Nano?”

Caller: “Er, yes. How did you know?”

Me: “Because that iPod was stolen from my car about two years ago. So yes, it IS mine. But it wasn’t lost by me. It was lost by the fucking arsehole who stole it from me.”

Moral, dear readers: Whenever you buy an Apple product, ALWAYS get your name and number engraved on it at point of sale.

Posted on 9th September 2013
Under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Busy. On hols. Lazy.

SoilmanSorry about lack of posting on soilman.net. First I was busy. Then I was on hols (see me frying in Sicily, left). Then I was just too goddamn lazy to do much.

Now I’m back in harness and trying to deal with the mountain of weed that has appeared on the allotment. It is an allotment truism that if weeds were edible, we’d all eat like kings…. but this year it feels truer than most.

I do at least have some sensational sweetcorn this year. What a difference a bit of sunshine makes.

Posted on 4th September 2013
Under: Uncategorized | Comments Off